A novel approach to study speak to inhibition of locomotion using micropatterned substrates [Research Article]
- Elena Scarpa1,
- Alice Roycroft1,
- Eric Theveneau1,
- Emmanuel Terriac2,
- Matthieu Piel2 and
- Roberto Mayor1,*
1Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
2Institut Curie, CNRS UMR144, 26 rue d’Ulm, 75248 Paris Cedex 05, France
- ↵*Author for correspondence ( )
The concept of contact inhibition of locomotion (CIL) describes the ability of a cell to change the direction of its movement
after contact with another cell. It has been shown to be responsible for physiological and developmental processes such as
wound healing, macrophage dispersion and neural crest cell migration; whereas its loss facilitates cancer cell invasion and
metastatic dissemination. Different assays have been developed to analyze CIL in tissue culture models. However, these methods
have several caveats. Collisions happen at low frequency between freely migrating cells and the orientation of the cells at
the time of contact is not predictable. Moreover, the computational analysis required by these assays is often complicated
and it retains a certain degree of discretion. Here, we show that confinement of neural crest cell migration on a single dimension
by using a micropatterned substrate allows standardized and predictable cell–cell collision. CIL can thus easily be quantified
by direct measurement of simple cellular parameters such as the distance between nuclei after collision. We tested some of
the signaling pathways previously identified as involved in CIL, such as small GTPases and non-canonical Wnt signaling, using
this new method for CIL analysis. The restricted directionality of migration of cells in lines is a powerful strategy to obtain
higher predictability and higher efficiency of the CIL response upon cell–cell collisions.
Author contributions E.S. and R.M. designed the experiments. E.S. and A.R. performed the experiments. E.S., A.R., E.Th. and R.M. analyzed the
data. E.Te. and M.P. developed the micropattern stamp. E.S., E.Th. and R.M. organized the figures and wrote the manuscript.
All authors commented on the manuscript.
Competing interests The authors have no competing interests to declare.
- Received May 14, 2013.
- Accepted June 7, 2013.
- © 2013. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd
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